Indian origin students nominated for 2019 Schmidt Science fellowship

The fellowship recognises talents to work across scientific disciplines


May 3, 2019

/ By / Kolkata


The innovative post-doctoral programme is aimed towards creating interdisciplinary science leaders

Two Indian origin post-doctoral students among the 20 Schmidt Science fellows this year.

Eric and Wendy Schmidt, founders of Schmidt Futures announced the names of the members of 2019 class of Schmidt Science fellows on April 8 at an event in New York. Two Indian origin post-doctoral students Kasturi Chakraborty and Jyotirmoy Mandal were among the 20 fellows named in the second-annual list of USD 25 million programme of Schmidt Futures, in partnership with Rhodes Trust.

Kasturi Chakraborty, student of University of Chicago, has worked on developing new chemical probes that have been used to investigate how organelles work at a scale below the single cell and how organelle composition affects cell physiology. After being selected as a Schmidt Science fellow, she hopes to change scale to directly visualize microbe interactions in the gut which will help her in understanding how the changes in microbe populations affect a person’s overall health. She studied chemistry for both her bachelor’s degree from University of Delhi’s St Stephens College and her master’s from University of Pune and is currently a doctoral student under professor Yamuna Krishnan’s guidance.

Jyotirmoy Mandal, a PhD candidate in department of applied physics and applied mathematics in Colombia University, designs surfaces that selectively reflect, transmit, absorb or radiate light depending on their colour. With controlling of solar and thermal radiation, such surfaces can passively cool buildings, harvest sunlight for heating applications and achieve thermal camouflage. His next aim is to study the fundamentals of optical design and combine that knowledge with his current expertise to create low-cost optical components for next-generation cameras and imaging systems. Mandal earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University followed by master’s degree from Colombia University.

“Our mission at Schmidt Futures is to bet early on talented people who hold the promise of making the world a better place,” said Eric Schmidt. “That is what the Schmidt Science Fellows programme is all about. This new class of Fellows represent some of the best aspiring minds in science and technology today, and we look forward to helping them harness these gifts for the betterment of society,” he added.

The innovative post-doctoral programme is aimed towards creating interdisciplinary science leaders to face global challenges in the scientific areas spanning health, environment, clean energy, computer science, smart materials and many more. It also aims to maximize scientific opportunities for society. The 2019 class of fellows represents 15 countries of origin and joins the fellows of the last year’s inaugural class as part of the Schmidt Science community. The programme places the fellows in new world-leading research environments where they are exposed to new ideas and techniques from a different scientific discipline. They receive personalised mentoring from experienced scientists and also attend four Global Meetings as  a group at international science and innovation clusters which enables them to engage with new concepts and internationally renowned leaders from science, business, policy and society.

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